Clinical Exercise Physiology Concentration, Exercise Science, BS

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Exercise and Sports Science
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In Short

When you major in exercise and sports science and choose clinical exercise physiology as your concentration, you'll have the opportunity to study in one of three optional advisement tracks; pre-physician assistant, pre-physical therapy, or pre-athletic training.

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What will I do?
  • You'll learn how to use state-of-the art equipment in our physiology and anatomy labs including ECG, cardio/pulmonary measurement, blood flow analysis, and body composition analysis.
  • You'll complete coursework that provides knowledge and skills to find employment upon graduation or apply to competitive clinical graduate programs.
  • You'll gain real life experience through the completion of a 240 hour clinical internship.

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Program Overview

The Clinical Exercise Physiology Concentration prepares you for employment in the health promotion industry as well as for health-related graduate programs (Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Athletic Training, Chiropractic).

Through specialized coursework in this program, you'll gain familiarity with clinical conditions often seen in physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and athletic training offices.

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My internship experience was probably one of the most important puzzle pieces of my educational career. I learned everything I needed to solidify that entering the field of PT was what I wanted to do. I felt very prepared transitioning into a full time DPT program after graduating from Fitchburg State.

Haley Stack, '15, Physical Therapist

Experiential Opportunities


The internship program in the EXSS department is an experiential education program. The student intern contracts with an organization to provide specific outcomes/services that meet the students’ learning objectives as well as the needs of the organization. Our students have interned at the following sample of clinical sites: Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Emerson Hospital, Mt. Auburn Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Heywood Hospital, Metrowest Medical Center, Children’s Hospital, Natick Sports Chiropratic, Tufts Medical Center, Physical Therapy Plus, Mike Boyle's Strength and Conditioning, Cressey Sports Performance, UMass Lowell Sports Performance, Crunch Fitness, and Cross Fit EXP.
Read more about: Internships

Study Abroad

Faculty-led study abroad course opportunities also increase student life-transforming experiences, as do student/faculty cooperative research projects.
Read more about: Study Abroad

Curriculum and Other Information

Choose from the Clinical Exercise Physiology (PDF) concentration or one of the tracks below.

The Exercise and Sports Science Department’s mission is to prepare graduates for professional careers and advanced graduate studies in fields such as: physical therapy, occupational therapy, strength and conditioning, cardiac rehabilitation, fitness management, and wellness. This is accomplished through a combination of interactive classroom and unique hands-on laboratory experiences and internships. We support all University students working towards an accessible liberal arts education by providing the foundations for personal wellness.


The Exercise and Sports Science Department will be nationally recognized for its excellence in teaching and learning in the areas of clinical exercise physiology, fitness management, and strength and conditioning. We will be known for our commitment to transforming lives through education, experiential learning, and dedication to public service.

Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the Exercise and Sports Science program, students will:

  • Design exercise programs for health, fitness, and athletic performance: Students will display knowledge of program design by including all relevant components of fitness, correctly identifying any/all risk factors for their client, and appropriately modifying the training load and cycles.
  • Effectively perform health-related and performance-related exercise testing: Students will display knowledge of exercises tests by safely setting up and executing tests without errors, collecting appropriate physiological data at given time points, and performing calculations in order to interpret the data correctly.
  • Demonstrate effective verbal communication: Students will demonstrate effective professional presentation skills and communicate clearly and appropriately with clients and patients in mock and actual professional settings. 
  • Demonstrate effective written communication: Students will organize written work in such a way that it integrates discipline -specific terminology; identifies and evaluates scholarly sources; properly uses citations; and communicates, organizes, and synthesizes information from sources with clarity and depth.
  • Demonstrate quantitative reasoning: Students will represent information in mathematical form, explain information presented in mathematical form, and make judgments and draw appropriate conclusions based on the quantitative analysis of data.
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Chiropractor
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physician Assistant